Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Apply now: Sponsored passes to Nantucket 2014 for founders 30 & under

The Young Entrepreneurs Program continues at Nantucket 2014, June 5-7. We offer a small number of passes to founders age 30 and younger, courtesy of underwriters.

Entrepreneurs can learn more or apply for one of these passes here. And we're always looking for more generous companies & individuals to underwrite passes. (You'll receive receive copious thanks and adulation at the event.) Learn about that opportunity here.

Speakers at this year's conference include CEOs and founders of Warby Parker, Etsy, Constant Contact, Birchbox, DataXu, Indiegogo, and Dragon Innovation. We hope to see you there.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Future Forward 2013: New Format / New Location / Your Ideas?

At the very first Future Forward conferences, in 2001 and 2002, you could have:

• Learned about why speech interfaces on mobile devices were going to matter
• Seen a demo of how wireless networks everywhere would facilitate the emergence of the "Internet of things"
• Ridden the Segway before anyone else (OK, so it didn't exactly revolutionize personal transportation...)
• Met the co-founder of E Ink, years before their displays were integrated into the Amazon Kindle
• Heard about consumer applications of robotics from the co-founder of iRobot... before they launched the Roomba.
We're continuing that tradition of glimpsing the future with a group of New England's most forward-thinking techies, entrepreneurs, and investors.

This year, it happens Tuesday, November 19th in downtown Boston. We're doing it as a half-day event, starting in early afternoon and closing with cocktails. And the format is new: you'll get a series of 5- and 10-minute briefings and demos, each followed by time for debate and discussion. We'll focus on technologies with the potential to create or transform industry sectors, and new investing dynamics or company-building strategies.

So: if you have an idea for a short presentation on a technology, business, or design trend that will be big in 2014, or want to give a dazzling demo of something new or not-yet-released, drop us a note. We're especially looking for presentations that can be done in five slides or fewer, or with just a whiteboard.

And if you'd like to be in the audience — space is extremely limited, and attendance is complimentary thanks to our sponsors — request an invitation here. Our focus is founders, investors, and senior execs at fast-growing companies.

Thanks to our 2013 sponsors: McGladrey and Goodwin Procter.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Introducing the 2013 class of Nantucket Conference Young Entrepreneurs

Thanks to a group of generous underwriters, each year we set aside seats at the Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship & Innovation for several first-time entrepreneurs under the age of 30. They get a chance to explain to the rest of the group what they're working on, and solicit advice and guidance over the course of the two-and-a-half day gathering. Their registration fees are covered by underwriters. (We always like to give credit to Brad Feld of Foundry Group for kick-starting the program, now in its third year.)

We had a record number of applicants this year, from which the underwriters and conference organizers chose this set of 10 high-potential young entrepreneurs.
We're glad to have them as part of the Nantucket Conference community.

(If you are interested in being an underwriter for 2013 or a future year, please get in touch with sgilbert - at -

Monday, April 1, 2013

Applications Now Open for the 'Under 30' Program for the 2013 Nantucket Conference

Each year, we make a handful of passes available to young entrepreneurs who would benefit from participating in the Nantucket Conference (June 6-8, 2013). This year, these passes are being underwritten by Canary Ventures, Dyn, and 10x Venture Partners. Our thanks also go to Scott Savitz, who helped immensely with this year's program, and Brad Feld, who suggested the Under 30 idea in the first place.

If you are an entrepreneur who will not have turned 30 by the time of the conference, send us an e-mail with your name, a sentence or two describing your current venture, info on where you are based, and a bit about how you think you might benefit from being part of the conference. At the event, you'll get a chance to introduce yourself and your start-up to the audience, and to get feedback and input from other participants throughout the 2.5 days. This includes sitting down for special lunches with some of our speakers.

You must apply by Friday, April 19th by midnight. You'll hear back from us in April or May if we can hook you up. As a note, these free passes cover conference participation, freebies, and meals, but not travel to Nantucket or lodging on the island.

If you are someone who would like to underwrite a pass so that an Under 30 entrepreneur may attend, please get in touch. Underwriters may choose the entrepreneur they'd like to sponsor from the list of applicants, or they can ask the conference organizers to choose.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Your session at Nantucket Conference 2013 is about...?

At this year's Nantucket Conference, we'll be doing some unconference-style sessions on June 7th and 8th. While most of the session ideas will be proposed on-site, by people attending the event, we want to  open up the process a bit in advance (like now), to make it possible for folks with great ideas to take part in the event. Our hope is that two or three great session ideas will surface sometime between now and the end of April, and that the people who submit them will get free passes to Nantucket 2013. (You'll have to cover travel and lodging, but all conference activities, meals, and giveaways will be free.)

We're looking for sessions that will be fun... counter-intuitive... useful... interactive... engaging. Sessions will be an hour, tops, but could be shorter. Feel free to propose anything: teaching your group to play "Smoke on the Water" on ukeleles, talking about customer acquisition while playing poker, or raising seed capital while walking around the harbor.

We're open to any topic ideas from any kind of person in any corner of the world. Ideally stuff that adds to the sessions already on the agenda, but doesn't cover too much of the same ground. A hint about what we're not looking for: PowerPoint presos you've given before, canned speeches, pitches for a particular product/company. And we tend to be a bit biased towards do-ers as speakers (founders, designers, CTOs, HR execs... as opposed to consultants and "gurus.")

Share your idea in the comments here, or e-mail scott - at - Let us know who you are; what your session would be called; and a bit about what you plan to do.

We'll post green-lit sessions here, once they're green-lit...

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Dinner Series for Entrepreneurs: The Secrets of Scaling

We're organizing a new series of three dinners that will be held in Boston this spring.

The theme is "The Secrets of Scaling." And we have three goals:

1. To bring together founders of promising early-stage ventures for drinks, dinner, and networking. Each dinner will be limited to 20 participants.

2. To bring in a founder/CEO, who'll do a short whiteboard talk about some of the scaling-related issues they've dealt with at their company. No slides, and plenty of time for conversation.

3. To help create more successful, transformative, BIG companies in Boston.

The dinners will take place in downtown Boston on March 12, April 11, and May 2nd. Our speakers will be Scott Savitz, founder and former CEO of, currently managing partner at Data Point Capital;  HubSpot CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan; and LogMeIn founder and CEO Michael Simon. Among them, they've hired hundreds of employees, raised tens of millions in venture capital and generated hundreds of millions in revenue, sold companies, and taken companies public.

If you're interested in participating, please send your name; a sentence or two describing your current venture; and a link to your website to sgilbert -at- Participation is limited to founders of early-stage companies. (And apologies in is limited to 60 people in total, and we expect strong interest in this series.)

The underwriters of this dinner series are Bingham McCutchen LLP and KPMG.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Nantucket Entrepreneurial Success Story

Philip Beauregard, CEO of Objective Logistics, came to the Nantucket Conference for the first time in 2011. His company was founded in New Bedford, but now also has a Boston office. Objective Logistics sells a SaaS product that helps restaurants and retail businesses get better performance from their workforce; last November, the company raised $1.5 million from Atlas Venture, Google Ventures, NextView Ventures, and Canary Ventures.

We asked Phil how attending Nantucket helped build his company's momentum. Here's what he said...

- Objective Logistics can be viewed as a bit of a Nantucket "Cinderella" story I suppose. We were heads down in the Southcoast of Massachusetts, not really paying attention to any startup 'ecosystem' for a good two years while we built our product. We saw everything else as a distraction. 

- After being courted by VCs and 'shareholders' alike for some time, we still deferred going to any events, dinners, etc. 

- That was until we saw the speaker and participant lineup for the Nantucket Conference. We were blown away. We literally couldn't justify not going. 

- So we went. 

- I've never been to an event where I met so many people with which I have carried on a relationship, before or since. The signal-to-noise ratio was and still is the best I've ever seen, by leaps and bounds really. 

- It was all quality investors, thought leaders, and brethren entrepreneurs. If events could have a 'Klout score,' Nantucket would be 100. 

- The event was the best I've ever been to. 

- We went, introduced ourselves in a bit of a debutante way (our first exposure to what are now lasting relationships), and ended up moving to Boston in November after we closed our seed round with Google and Atlas. I met Seth Priebatsch from SCVNGR at the event, he introduced me to Rich Miner of Google Ventures, and the rest was history. 

- I got to know Fred Destin from Atlas Ventures at the event as well, which no doubt moved along our admiration of the guys over there (at Atlas). 

- Two of our strategic investors, Jeremy Hitchcock and Alex Goldberg of Canary Ventures, were both guys I met at the same dinner on Saturday night. 

- If you get invited to Nantucket, and you don't go, for shame.